Casey Chai
Chinese Department, Class of 2011

What are you doing now?
I'm a pediatric anesthesiologist in NYU and a new mother. I absolutely love my job and my new role as a mother.


What inspired you to join VHIO?
I joined SFHBC as a sophomore and saw the unique service our group could provide for the bay area community beyond the hepatitis B clinics, so in my senior year, my co-officers and I decided to transform SFHBC into VHIO.


Has your experience in VHIO impacted your life today?
My experience of serving the communities with limited language access in health care still reminds me every day of the inequity and hardship of the underserved populations. It reminds me of my roots as an immigrant and helps me remain an empathetic physician regardless of how hectic or tiring my day might have been. It reminds me to advocate for my vulnerable patients especially when they can't advocate for themselves. It made me a better physician.


What’s something memorable about your experience in VHIO?
My experience founding VHIO with my friends was one of my proudest achievements. It taught me that a clear vision, organization, passion, and teamwork are key ingredients to getting things done. One moment I thought about a lot was a slide presented by the education coordinator during one of the training workshops: "be the change you want to see in the world"


What advice would you give current VHIO members?
My advice for VHIO members is about balance and self-care. The next 10 years of your life might be the most exciting time when you build your career as well as your family and you might imagine balance as "doing it all." But it's not realistic to do well in all areas of your life all the time. Balance might look more like juggling, focusing on your school for a period of time and then shifting focus to your personal life for a period of time. While trying to maintain balance, remember to take care of yourself and cut yourself some slack if you can't do it all, all the time. Another advice is to not be shy about reaching out for help or advice! People are more willing to help than you might assume, especially if you take the initiative to ask and reach out.

I'm happy to chat more w anyone who has any questions about medical school, residency in anesthesiology, becoming an attending, having kids somewhere along the way.

September 2022